Two years of recipes – your top sixteen favorites!

 Sixteen of the very best recipes, 2013-2016!

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But first, this distraction…

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I worked on a low-budget local TV children’s television series about 20 years ago – 13 half hours of sock puppets (an iguana, some chickens, a worm: honest!) doing what sock puppets do – and when it came to episode 13 my producer told me, “You don’t need to do much writing. It’s a clip show.” What he meant by this was we’d do a minimal amount of shooting in the studio set with the characters saying things like “Remember when we did this?” and “Remember when you did that?”, whereupon we’d insert clips from the previous episodes. It saved money, the ratings for the show were dismal, we were SO cancelled, and this was the easiest way to wrap up the series and go home licking our wounds.

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Well, I’m not ending Journeys Over a Hot Stove, but I felt it was a good time for my own “clip show.” These are really good recipes, but more important, they’re your favorite recipes, fully guaranteed not to be at all sucky. In this melange of soups, stews, and main courses you’ll find a scattering of great eats from the Southwest, Deep South, Mediterranean, and good ol’ Yankee home cooking. Dive in!

Best of the best…

Just click on the titles to link to the original post.

1. Real New Mexican Green Chile Stew – Schrödinger’s Cat on Skis

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About 4000 views, and lots of happy cooks! This is my favorite largely because it blends my passions for quantum physics, New Mexico weirdness, humor, and a terrific green chile stew recipe. I had it first at a Pueblo Indian feast day, and couldn’t believe how good it was.

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2. Remember, Down South, Mac ‘n’ Cheese is a vegetable

3600 views. Two pounds of sharp cheddar in a creamy roux! This comes from the Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook, a best-seller and award-winner. (One of the Lee brothers, I think it was Matt, was my son’s housemate at the University of Iowa some years back).

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3. Welsh Rarebit indulgence — the West isn’t funny

2100 views. Key ingredient? Beer! Easy to prep in a double boiler. Here it’s served over toast, eggs, tomatoes, and sliced ham. This has about 27,000 calories but if you have it just twice a year, who cares?

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4. Duane Lammers, Bison Walker – best chicken ever

Almost 2000 views. The photo shows one of those ostrich-sized chickens that get too big to walk (we don’t buy those anymore). French recipe, gobs of garlic, globs of dough to seal the casserole lid while it bakes/steams in the oven.

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5. High and Heady Taos, New Mexico – Best-ever Southwest Black Bean Soup

Nearly 1600 views. I just made this again last week, with chorizo sausage instead of Jimmy Dean’s sage sausage (which Hannaford now refuses to carry) – as savory and satisfying as I’ve ever had. Cumin and medium-hot chile powder transport you two thousand miles away.  Eat, enjoy, take Gas-X.

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6. Margaret’s best-ever baked scallops

1450 views. Steamed scallops, mushrooms (optional), a simple roux and bread crumbs topped with grated cheddar for baking. Margaret Coombs passed this on from a family recipe. And remember, “scallops” rhymes with “dollops”!

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7.Pollo Alla Barontana – Tuscan chicken!

1250 views.  Pure Tuscan simplicity! Chicken with olives in a satiny sauce. Just made this again Sunday for our friend Jack. It tastes better than it looks right here (if that’s possible), and it’s super-easy to make. Secret ingredients? White wine and red vinegar…

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8. Perfect pea soup — some Downeast directions, and crazy-*ss “coincidences”

1220 views. This derives its richness from a good chicken stock and evaporated milk. Plus either ham, smoked hocks, or fragrant sausage – a perfect go-together with some Downeast humor.

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9. Succulent three-day pot roast – Verdi vs. Bob Seger

1100 views. With three days of marinating veggies and red wine, there’s plenty of time to argue the relative merits of Verdi and Bob Seger. Main idea: get a well-marbled hunk of beef, like chuck, and try to do a few other things while it’s marinating.

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10. Perfect, lustrous Deep South Cajun Gumbo – a life-draining ordeal

930 views. Gumbo is any manner of meat and seafood with a roux that’s as thick as coal tar, fried okra, other veggies, broth and filé powder. It requires a brutal amount of whisking and stirring, so be advised kitchen martyrdom may await you if you get through it all. Is it worth it? People wouldn’t make it if it weren’t. Amazing!

So so good... (photo Ned White)

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11. Sumptuous Bolognese Sauce — a culinary calamity in Portugal

830 views. Sauteed minced carrots, celery, garlic… ground beef, veal, and pork and maybe some prosciutto… chopped tomatoes, a splash of milk or cream, and lots of simmering time. In Portugal, they made this with ketchup flambé – culture shock!

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12. Taste-tingling chicken parmesan — Escape to Sicily

700 views. Chicken or veal, your choice, but use thin cutlets, then bake with the mozzarella and grated parm on top of the pasta sauce, so it looks like this. We make this every month or so and have it pretty well nailed.

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13. To-die-for Shepherd’s Pie!

650 views. Surprise! It’s made with ground lamb! And fresh corn from Weskeag Farms that we steamed, sliced off the cob, and froze.

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14. Two great hanger steak marinades

650 views. Hanger steak, gourmands will tell you, is the hidden treasure in the cow, but you need to go to a butcher’s shop or specialty food store – supermarkets don’t carry it. And, like most beef, it needs a great marinade to soften it up without robbing it of its native flavor. Sooo good!

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15. Fabulous fluffy salt cod fritters – Bunuelos de Bacalao

500 views. Spend a little time in the Canadian Maritimes and/or in Portugal, bacalao (cod) is on every menu. I need to make these again very soon – as fine a “fish cake” as I’ve ever had.

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16. Huevos a la Flamenca – Wicked olé!

Nearly 300 views. Actually, this is cheating a bit – there are other food posts more popular than this one, but I loved this egg dish (and the photo) and couldn’t resist. Sauteed potatoes and prosciutto and veggies, then steamed, drop the eggs in and bake. Amazing flavor, with so few spices.

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Except for the hanger steak photo, these are all my own photos, some of which are with different stock agencies, so please don’t reuse without my permission. Thanks! 

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Click below to visit my website and explore some good books!

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Ned White

About Ned White

Ned White is a writer, novelist, crossword puzzle constructor, humorist, traveler through 49 states, and at times a danger in the kitchen. He lives with his wife in South Thomaston.